Some might say bone broth is having a moment, but don’t tell that to Soo-Ah Landa, founder of BRU Bone Broth.
Homemade bone broth is part of Landa’s Korean heritage. Her mom has been brewing up batches for as long as she can remember. For ailments, for births, for old-fashioned comfort. A slow-cooked, simmering stock is a part of many of our histories, she says.
“Remember what your mom, your grandma, your great-grandma made you?” she asks. (We do. It’s easy to recall healing bowls of soup made by the loving hands of matriarchs before us.) “There’s a reason they would spend hours in the kitchen making you these great, home-cooked stocks and broths and soups. It’s because of the goodness that’s inside of them,” she says
Landa bottled that goodness to make it simpler to enjoy daily. But despite winning Best New Health Idea of 2018 from Dr. Oz, Landa says bone broth is really not a trend. It’s an ancient remedy.
The broths simmering in her mom’s stockpots and now contained in her 16-ounce bottles on supermarket shelves are no Campbell’s cans. BRU Bone Broth is organic, rich with handpicked, non-GMO bones and meat, and cooked for 48 to 72 hours. The result, she says, is a nutrient-dense elixir that can help with joint health, improve gut function, and repair cell connection and connective tissue and more.
“The magic is in the collagen, protein, and gelatin,” Landa says. “Plus, the 19 essential amino acids, like proline, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid.” She also adds cold-pressed vegetables, roots, spices, and apple cider vinegar. But it’s not just the nutrition label that matters. BRU is also about the warm and fuzzy feelings.
“It’s nostalgia in a cup,” Landa says. “Our lives move so quickly. Everyone is so busy. Everything is about quick and fast. Sipping a hot beverage forces you to slow it down a bit.” Between the leisurely sipping and the bodily nourishment, Landa calls a mug of warm BRU “hot yoga for your insides.”
On the cold morning she conceptualized the product, Landa heated up some chicken bone broth left over in her fridge and added a medley of greens on their last legs. She pureed the combo, delighted in the taste, and decided, “This is what I want to drink every day.” (And, spoiler alert: She still does.) This became Hot Greens, now made with cold-pressed kale, spinach, fennel, celery, parsley, scallions, and a bit of jalapeño.
Her father’s journey with cancer inspired the second variation, rich with turmeric and ginger to fight inflammation and aid in digestion. But the full line of six broths, which includes a beef broth with a cayenne kick and a chicken broth full of beet juice, is good for anyone. “Young, old, sick, healthy; anyone can drink this at any time,” she says. So how should you consume a bottle? Landa says warm it, put it in a mug, and sip with purpose. (Deskside, fireside, on the go, or curled up with a book are all good options.) Coffee drinkers can even sub in Broffee, which has the caffeine of a regular cup of java. Landa especially recommends keeping BRU handy for what she calls the “3 p.m. hump.”
I’d rather be terrified and excited every single day than be disappointed, bored, and regretful.
Bottles are stocked in the refrigerated section of grocery stores along the West Coast, including Sprouts and Whole Foods, and the website ships assorted packs and broth cleanses nationwide.
“Everything I have done in my life so far has been incorporated into this new life as an entrepreneur, and, of course, everything I have done in my life has not prepared me for the job of an entrepreneur,” Landa says, laughing. “This is the hardest thing I have ever done.”
After holding demanding positions in investment banking and management consulting for Fortune 500 companies, that’s a bold statement. The desire for more flexibility while raising two boys, now 11 and 13, drove Landa to choose her own adventure. To find the courage to take the first step, she looked to the advice of her favorite philosopher, Yoda: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” It’s a favorite line of Landa’s.
“Once you’ve overcome your fear, you’ve launched yourself into the world of possibility,” she says. “It’s a really exciting and terrifying place to be, and I’d rather be terrified and excited every single day than be disappointed, bored, and regretful.”
Landa says she finds fellow women, especially those who have taken time off from their careers to raise families, quick to undermine and underestimate themselves. It’s why, as she was brainstorming her business, she formed Project Eight, a community of eight likeminded women, each with her own idea, bonded by the goal of bringing those visions to fruition over the course of eight months. The project offered nurturing and accountability, and for Landa, eventually led to BRU Bone Broth.
“Once you open that door, it’s like you become more receptive to the signals the universe gives you,” she says. “Maybe you weren’t hearing it or seeing it before, but once you’ve decided to go out and do something for yourself, the possibilities emerge.”
Landa, 48, says age hasn’t gifted her some surge of fearlessness. She simply doesn’t want insecurity to stop her from reaching her potential. To other entrepreneurs-to-be paralyzed with fear, not knowing where to start, she reminds them: She didn’t know where to begin with BRU either. But she chose to have faith in herself, knowing she’d figure it out with each new day. To offset some of the hard work, she takes a little personal timeout each day.
“Taking a pause in your day to take care of yourself is really important,” Landa says. “Maybe it’s writing for five minutes; maybe it’s meditating. Whatever it is, it’s an important part of wellness.”
Taking a pause in your day to take care of yourself is really important. Maybe it’s writing for five minutes; maybe it’s meditating. Whatever it is, it’s an important part of wellness.
She also incorporates some form exercise every day. With a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do, it’s often martial arts, which she has practiced for 20 years. “What martial arts was to me in my 20s and 30s is very different than what it means to me in my 40s,” she says. “I’m no longer sparring or getting beat up; now it’s about meditation, philosophy, art, and exercise.”
Landa also prioritizes quality time with carefully cultivated friendships and says her favorite location for a social gathering is on a hiking trail. Cooking is a lifelong passion. She’s is a firm believer in the power of a daily ritual and makes the bed every morning.
These things, she says, are just a few of her keys to aging well: “Exercise, taking care of yourself, good food, and good friends.” And, of course, good bone broth.
Learn more about the powers of bone broth and order BRU at brubroth.com.